Expression of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor in local and metastatic prostate cancer

Urol Oncol. Mar-Apr 2007;25(2):134-40. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2006.07.019.


Purpose: The insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 receptor is currently being targeted in clinical trials in prostate cancer. Despite this targeting, there are conflicting data on the presence of this receptor in human tumor samples, largely because of differences in technique.

Materials and methods: Immunohistochemistry was used to determine the presence of IGF-1 receptor in frozen normal prostate and prostate cancer specimens. Clinical and pathologic parameters were correlated with IGF-1 receptor intensity and frequency of staining. Only 2-3+ staining on a scale of 0-3 was considered positive in this evaluation.

Results: IGF-1 receptor was expressed in normal prostate epithelium in 6 of 6 patients without cancer and in morphologically normal epithelium adjacent to tumor cells in 21 of 22 patients with cancer studied. IGF-1 receptor was present in the prostate tumor epithelium of 28 of 28 primary tumors, 3 of 5 locally recurrent androgen-independent tumors, and in 4 of 5 metastatic lymph nodes. Stromal staining patterns were positive in 2 of 28 specimens near benign epithelium compared to 19 of 30 specimens of stroma surrounding tumor epithelium (P < 0.0001, Fisher exact test). Stroma adjacent to Gleason grade >or=7 tumors showed higher intensity staining than that adjacent to lower grade tumors (P < 0.001). Expression of the closely related insulin receptor did not show expression in either normal or cancer epithelium, or in adjacent stroma.

Conclusions: This study using frozen tissue shows widespread IGF-1 receptor expression in normal prostate, prostate cancers, and metastases. These data support investigations into IGF-1 receptor as a therapeutic target in prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Prostate / metabolism
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Receptor, Insulin / metabolism
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1
  • Receptor, Insulin